What will the Rams do with the number one pick in the upcoming NFL draft? You would think this is a no brainer. Take the best guy no matter what. Easy! Done! Right?
Back up a second there Sparky. First of all, rating the players is not fool proof. And not all players fit into all systems. Then you have to decide if two players are rated nearly even if you should take the one who plays a position of greater need. The pressure must be crushing for the Rams brass with a new boss on the way. And that doesn't take into account all the rumored trades to consider. So let's take a look at some of the possibilities.
If the Rams keep the pick, I am still in the camp that says draft Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh. By all accounts he is the best player in the daft. If anything he increased his stock at the recent NFL Combine. He's the kind of player that can make those around him even better. The Rams have too few of those.
Of course the Rams need a QB. No arguements there. But there is no rule that says you have to take one in the first round. Going back 12 years, NFL teams have drafted 33 QB's in the first round. Only 7 of those look like franchise quarterbacks and 2 of them are named Manning (McNabb, Palmer, Rivers, Roethlisberger and Rodgers being the others). The book is still out on some of the more recent picks.
The list is much longer of those who have failed ot live up to the first round draft day hype: Boller, Campbell, Carr, Couch, Culpepper, Grossman, Harrington, Leftwich, Leinart, Losman, McNown, Pennington, Quinn, Ramsey, Russell, Akili Smith, Alex Smith and let's not forget Ryan Leaf.
The only QB at the top of the draft is Sam Bradford. So is Sam the man? Who knows. All the early indicators say he is coming back strong from surgery on his throwing shoulder. His pro work out day will be huge. But I'd be nervous using the number one overall pick on a guy who was hurt the last two years. It goes without saying a gaggle of doctors will have a lot to say about Bradford's future.
So how about trading down. This is by all accounts a talent rich draft class. That Rams have so many holes I'd love to see them pick up extra draft picks this year to plug multiple holes. But trading out of the top spot of the draft just doesn't happen very often. It has only happened twice since 1984. The last time it happened the Rams traded up to get Orlando Pace in 1997. But if you can find a trading partner this could be the way to go.
We've already seen trade rumors involving Tampa. The Rams completely deny there were ever any talks with the Bucs. But wouldn't TB be the perfect trade partner. The Rams could pick up say a 3rd rounder and still have the third pick overall. TB reportedly covets Suh. That leaves Bradford and Gerald McCoy for the Lions. If the Lions trade down to give another team Bradford that leaves McCoy for the Rams. If the Lions keep the pick and take McCoy, then you have Bradford. In either case the Rams would have an extra pick near the top of the 3rd round.
That's where the intrigue comes in. Why would the Bucs trade up. If the Rams really like Bradford better than Suh or McCoy, the Bucs can keep their pick and get Suh or McCoy without giving up anything extra. The Rams have to play this very close to the vest. If there is any chance for this kind of trade to work the Bucs have to believe the Rams will take Suh and the Lions will take McCoy leaving neither DT for the Bucs. You can bet the rumors will really start to fly after Bradford works out for the pro scouts and as the draft approaches.